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More on Hybrids – this time Hino in Australia

According to the Japanese Nikkei newspaper, Hino is to launch its diesel-electric Dutro Hybrid truck in Australia this month. By taking advantage of brisk demand for environment-friendly vehicles outside Japan, the truck maker aims to triple its overseas truck sales to 150,000 by 2015, the business daily said.

Ford Files Against Navistar

The news that Ford has filed suit against Navistar shouldn’t come as a surprise; the Warrenville, Illinois-based manufacturer has been a contender for our favourite basketcase OEM award for a time now. Aided in part by the fact that its previous accountants have had some difficulty adding up, its financials are a mess, and its strategy – whilst commendable from the perspective of an industry attempting to globalise – seems to have been leading it nowhere.

KaMAZ Targets India through Tatra-Vectra Tie-Up

Interesting report here about KaMAZ and its plans for India. This is the market to be in at the moment, and it’ll be interesting to see just how the Russian OEM gets on against the indigenous giants – Tata and Ashok – and the newly keen European OEMs – including Volvo, MB, Scania and MAN.

CNHTC Aims for $1 billion Exports by 2010

Volvo’s current Chinese truck JV partner China National Heavy-Duty Truck Corporation (CNHTC) has been doing a bit more sabre rattling. It expects its annual overseas sales to jump five-fold to $1 billion in four years as it aggressively pushes sales beyond its domestic market, says this report in the Peoples’ Daily.

MAN -Scania Bid: now the Deaththroes.

Looks like the MAN Scania bid has finally died the death. In truth, it’s been coughing up blood in the hallway ever since Bernd Pischetsrieder received the surprise elbow from VW a month or so back, but the rejection by VW of the MAN offer – it is Scania’s biggest shareholder – has finally put the lid on things.

PACCAR and Isuzu invest in the US, but aim for Europe?

The news that both Paccar and Isuzu are to develop new manufacturing facilities in the US comes at an interesting time. Isuzu is to establish a plant in Birmingham, Alabama, and, whilst Paccar is rather coyer as to its plans, we’d put some money on it opting for the same state.

Iveco Invests in Brazilian Business

Iveco is to invest US$68 / €51.6 / £34.8 million in its Brazilian operations, based at the Sete Lagoas plant in Minas Gerais province. The company aims to produce 12,000 trucks through its Brazilian operation during 2007, of which around 30 per cent will be destined for regional export. In addition to Brazil, both Argentina and Venezuela are key markets for the Italian OEM.

Turkish Ford Connects to the US

According to reports from Turkish news agency Sabah, Ford is to start marketing the Transit Connect in the United States. Initially, supply will come from the Kocaeli plant, home of the JV between Ford Otosan and Koç Holdings, and Turkish-built Connect models will be made available to US customers during 2007. US production of the Transit Connect is due to commence in 2009. Interest in the one tonne sector seems to be developing apace in the US. Chevrolet's HHR panel van is not far away from production, whilst Dodge recently showcased a van version of its Nitro SUV.

Paccar Opens Second China Office.

US-based OEMs have been somewhat reticent on the subject of China. But that now looks about to change, with the announcement by Paccar of the establishment of a second Chinese office in Shanghai. Paccar has maintained a sales office in Beijing for the past 15 years.But what is the Seattle-based manufacturer going to do with its new facility? Interestingly, the press release speaks only of a growing ‘demand for high-quality, reliable commercial vehicles’.